Hello Destructoid people. My name is Lasse and I'm from the country of beer and sausages: Germany. I prefer strange Japanese games. My favorite series of all time is Pop'n Music, which I'm still bad at and can't clear anything above a difficulty rating of 38. BEMANI FOR LIFE!
Noby Noby Boy
Yesterday was a Super Street Fighter IV event in Hamburg, Germany. Capcom invited press and some players from the German community to meet Yoshinori Ono, the producer of the game. Of course I went there too.
I played a match against him and won. (Actually he let me win, because he is such a nice guy.)
Pikachu (ピカチュウ Pikachū?) is one of the fictional species of Pokémon creatures from the Pokémon media franchise—a collection of video games, anime, manga, books, trading cards, and other media created by Satoshi Tajiri. As do all Pokémon, Pikachu fight other Pokémon in battles central to the anime, manga, and games of the series. Pikachu is among the most recognizable Pokémon, largely because a Pikachu is a central character in the Pokémon anime series. Pikachu is widely considered the most popular Pokémon, is regarded as the official mascot of the Pokémon franchise, and has become an icon of Japanese culture in recent years.
In the Pokémon franchise, Pikachu are often found in houses, forests, plains, and occasionally near mountains, islands, and electrical sources (such as power plants), on most continents throughout the fictional world. As an Electric-type Pokémon, Pikachu can store electricity in its cheeks and release it in lightning-based attacks.
December 2008 the Sega released a Chunsoft developed visual Novel for the Nintendo Wii. Surprisingly the game was loved by game critics in Japan with Famitsu giving it a perfect score of 40/40. Sadly that was the only news about the game to reach the west. In September 2009 the game was ported to the PSP and the PlayStation 3 and during my trip to Japan this summer I picked up the game.
The game starts really simple with a single storyline. Like in most other visual novels you can make choices at certain points and determine the outcome of the story line, but no matter what you do after about 10-20 minutes the story line ends with a BAD END. But this isn't the end of the game, instead of going back and changing your choices, you can switch to another storyline with a different main character. With the choices you make in the second storyline you can change the fate of the first character and avert the BAD END.
Also at some points in a story line, you will be stopped by a KEEP OUT sign. To make this sign disappear, you have to advance in another story line until you spot a certain keyword and jump via the hint function to the other story line.
The game is divided in episodes and you have to reach the TO BE CONTINUED screen with all characters. If one character makes it there but another one ends with a BAD END you have to change something. The first episode keeps it rather simple with only 2 parallel story lines, but later you have up to five different characters, that all influence each other. To make things easier for the player, you can read a hint after a BAD END, that will hopefully tell you what choices you will have to change.
Without the jumping and changing different story lines, the game would be just a simple well-written novel (There is also a novel version of the game released in book form in Japan), but with the unique features of a game the story telling gets completely different. Of course there are parts, that mainly focus on just reading, but other times it is more like a puzzle to not end in a BAD END. What makes it even more fun, is the fact that most BAD ENDs are actually either quite funny or at least interesting for the story as a whole. Questions like "What would have happened if the cop went to marry his girlfriend and become a farmer instead of solving this case?" get answered this way. For completionists there are 85 endings to be found in the game.
Even after finishing the game there are two bonus scenarios and a hidden scenario to be found in the game. One of the bonus scenario is a really cute heartwarming story of the little sister, who is in a hospital, of one of the main characters. The other one is the story of Canaan, a female elite mecanary, that plays a major role in the major but is not a main character. The Canaan arc was actually written by Kinoko Nasu from Type-Moon and also spawned an anime series, that aired in Japan this summer.
I had the strangest and most awesome moment in video games this year in this game. There are two secret messages from the producer in the game. Both are hidden very well and no normal person would ever find them, without a guide from the internet (Without trophy support I wouldn't have bothered either). For the second secret message, you have to turn off your console at the right moment in the hidden scenario. After turning the console back on, you will be greeted by the message. That is craziest way to hide an easter egg in your game.
428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de is one of the best games I have ever played. Of course there is almost no gameplay in the game and no voice overs is kinda harsh nowadays, but overall those things didn't really matter. Sadly it will never get translated and not very many people outside of Japan will experience it.
Well it was pretty nice of Mike Kennedy from Vogster to post five free download codes on the official European Playstation Blog for Unbound Saga, that is finally getting a digital release in Europe. Only that it actually wasn't.
On PSN you get locked after trying to enter twenty different codes and now a lot of users (including me) have the problem of not being able to enter legit codes. This is pretty shitty and not very amusing. It makes me wonder how many users got the same problem after getting similiar codes via twitter. Of course Mr Kennedy is partly to blame for this, but Sony has to either change their system or at least put some warning in there.
If you are a Nintendo DS owner, you either have already played or should go and play Hotel Dusk. It's a fantastic adventure game with an incredible story and rather interesting puzzles. A little less known is the first adventure Developer Cing made for Nintendos portable gaming machine with the title Another Code (or Trace Memory in US), that followed the same formula. Although at first glance the story in Another Code looked to be targeted at kids (mainly because the female protagonist is only 13 years old), the story got pretty scary. Most of the puzzles in the game were centered around the touch screen controls and took quite a bit of thinking outside the box to solve.
Now over 4 years after the first game, the sequel was released in Europe last week (Japan release was early this year) under the name Another Code R. The story takes place roughly 3 years after the first game, where Ashley Mizuki Roberts reunited with her father after having a rather dramatich adventure on Blood Edward Island. Of course her father being a scientist and all returned to work and left Ashley to live with her aunt for the past 6 months without ever coming home. Although she is mighty angry with him, she followed his invitation to go camping with him. Unlike the first game this game starts in a rather normal location, but starting with Ashley being robbed of her handbag, you immediately understand, that there are same strange things happening here. For example she remembers things about her coming to the same place with her mother at the age of 3 and everytime she remembers something she totally spaces out.
Like Hotel Dusk the game is very dialogue heavy with no voice acting at all, which is a bit sad because there is enough space on a DVD, but since the dialogues are well written with interesting characters, that all have some hidden secrets, it is easily forgiven. Also the movement between locations is very much streamlined, because you always move on fixed paths. This may seem a bit strange at first, but the game does a very good job of highlighting important things. Of course there are a lot of puzzles in this game, that all use the Wiimote. But instead of simple wagglemotions like in Zack&Wiki, the motion controls and the pointing of the Wiimote are often used in clever ways.
All in all the difficulty level may be a bit too low and some dialogues a bit too stretched out, but the story makes up for everything. Oh, I almost forgot about the graphics, which are gorgeous for Wii standarts. After watching the opening sequence I was already expecting the worst, but the cel-shading looks incredible in this game. Hopefully this game won't follow the same fate as Disaster: Day of Crisis (although that game was actually pretty mediocre) and not get a release in the US, but as of now there is no announcement or release date for the US market.